What is Your Favorite Star Wars Movie?

With the upcoming release of Star Wars Episode VIII – The Last Jedi later in 2017.  We are going to discuss our favorite Star Wars movie.   There are many plot lines in the Last Jedi worth watching, as well as different ways to watch the Star Wars series, however, we all have our one favorite movie.  Here are ours…


49-year-old favorite Star Wars Movie

My Favorite Star Wars movie is going to be difficult.  I saw Episode IV – A New Hope in theaters when I was 10 years old.  What an experience that was, space travel, robotics, guns with no bullets, and lightsabers.   With now 8 movies released, and The Last Jedi on the way in December 2017, the Star Wars movie spaceship is reaching beyond the closest galaxy.  What makes a favorite a favorite anyway, is it a plot line, is it the experience, action, reactions, emotions, etc.   Before I get to my favorite, here are my top 3 Star Wars movies:  A New Hope was great for the reasons above.  Return of the Jedi had Luke conflicted with his inner demons and was a great conclusion to the series.  The Force Awakens made the transition from the old characters to the new characters and with the death of Han Solo it was a great rebirth of the series.  Although I liked the prequels, the take make the top movies, although, the lightsaber duel between Obi-wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker, rates as one of my all time favorite scenes in the series.

Now, my favorite Star Wars movie is Return of the Jedi.  From the moment Luke Skywalker walks into Jabba’s palace, I’m hooked.  We learn that Luke and Leia are brother and sister, the death of Yoda, the conflict between Father and Son, and Han Solo and Leia finally get together.   The death of both Sith Lords provides a sense of peace throughout the Galaxy until later we find Ben Solo turns to the dark side.

20-year-old favorite Star Wars Movie

To be honest, I feel very unqualified to write on this topic. I know I was exposed to Star Wars but definitely not enough to have a favorite. I remember starting to watch it with my dad but would eventually get bored and go play in the other room.

If I had to choose my favorite Star Wars movie, it would be Revenge of the Sith. I chose it not for the quality of the movie – mainly because I don’t remember it well enough to speak on it. I like it because it was the movie I remember seeing it in movies with my dad and maybe some of my other siblings. It’s a memory and it is a memory I enjoy to this day.

I also don’t know if I have any good predictions as to what will happen in the next Star Wars movie. If anything, I really want to see more of how Rey is connected to the other Star Wars movies. I am excited to see it because I am sure it will turn into another family adventure.

70-year-old favorite Star Wars Movie

I remember going to the first star wars movie  with my kids in Europe in the 1970s. It was unique, exciting and enjoyable. I’ve been to a couple since, the last one being The Force Awakens, which Kathy dragged me to.  But I really had no interest in them anymore.
The last one I saw was quite formulaic, good guys vs bad guys.  More importantly, it’s all about killing or not being killed.  Is that the future we want to portray? Sure, it sells, but so does sex… without the killing.
I’d be more drawn to see a Star Trek series.  Both the old and new versions had something to offer besides killing. I’ve avoided their movies which seem to have gravitated to killing too.  Besides, movies are very loud these days. Sex is not that loud, as i remember.

Your Turn – What is your favorite Star Wars Movie?

Episode 1 – The Phantom Menace

Episode 2 – Attack of the Clones

Episode 3 – Revenge of the Sith

Non Episode – Rogue One

Episode 4 – A New Hope

Episode 5 – The Empire Strikes Back

Episode 6 – Return of the Jedi

Episode 7 – The Force Awakens

3 or 4 of our Favorite Comedians

The favorite comedian topic was interesting.   My daughter’s exposure to comedians is mainly late night TV.  We would watch the Late, Late show together with Craig Ferguson together.   Everyone says my dad and I have the same sense of humor, now I know why.

Favorite Comedian of a 20 Year Old

I am not a huge person who closely follows comedians. I do from time to time find myself tuning into a late night talk show and laughing as a result of that. That being said, my favorite comedian would have to be Jimmy Fallon.  If I turned on a show to watch, he is the one I would turn to. He has a wonderful show and plays some of my personal favorite games to play with his guest stars such as The Whisper Challenge, Lip Sync Battles, and Box of Lies. Not only that, but he also brings much joy to his show. He seems genuine and I honestly would love meet him someday. That also, he has his own segments such as reading off tweets that people send him and writing Thank You notes. I have found it to be a fun show to watch especially with some of my friends here at college.
Also, being a fan of How I Met Your Mother, I think he has a little bit of resemblance to Ted Mosby so that is a plus too.

Favorite Comedian of a 49 Year Old

This is hard for me as I love watching all kinds of comedians perform, I love sitcoms like Cheers, Friends, and MASH, and I love satire shows that reflect reality like Jon Stewart on The Daily Show.  One of my favorite comedy routine’s is Abbott and Costello’s, Who’s on First routine.  I’ve listened to this at least 100 times and stop every time it is on the radio or TV.  I have narrowed my list down to two different comedians, as there was one I loved when I was in high school and college, and there is a second I like watching today.

Early years – In my early years,  was George Carlin.  As a teenager, hearing the seven words you can’t say on TV was one of those things that becomes engraved in your mind. SPFCCSMFT is something I will never forget.  However, I really liked Carlin for the way he took the english language and made fun of it.  I still ask why do we “drive on parkway and park on a driveway”.

More recently, I have latched onto another comedian that has been around for years, but find his skill and ability to tell a joke amazing.  Jeff Dunham is a great story teller, and as a ventriloquist, is incredible.  He does a great job interacting with his regular sidekicks including Peanut, Walter, Achmed, and Jose Jalepeno.  His routine is typically a conversation with each character and his reactions to what each character says is priceless.  It is absolutely hilarious when he gets mad at Peanut.

My honorable mentions list is long as I love different types of comedians:  Gallagher, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, Jeff Foxworthy, Robin Williams, Ellen, Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Jon Stewart, Gilda Radner, Chris Farley, Bill Cosby, Louie Anderson, and John Oliver.

Favorite Comedian of a 70 Year Old

I’ve seen and heard a lot of comedians mostly on TV, but some in person.  The ones I like best are those who put together a routine.  The first one I remember is Abbott and Costello’s Who’s on First.   It goes back to the 1940’s, but came on TV in the 50’s and is considered a classic, of course.

George Carlin is my guy for the best routines.  He is a language and concept person who uses words to make you think while you are laughing.  His routine on euphemisms plays to this. He even has a routine describing himself using euphemistic contradictions. His most famous routine is “7 words you can’t say on TV” which hits the mark on how ludicrous censoring is.   His routine on ‘stuff’ is really apropos in this age of shopping.   His style is laid back but in your face. It’s like he’s thinking out loud but wants you to hear.  I feel his later routines are much more negative than the early ones.  While he always cursed, they became more routinely included rather than part of the routine. Still, I like listening to what he has to say because of the way he says it.

Now it’s your Turn – Who is your favorite comedian?

9 Books to Influence your Life

Today, we are looking at the books that had some type of influence on us.  It’s interesting the different selections especially by age.  I must admit, I was certainly not surprised to see the Bible on this list, but was surprised who put it on their list.  Enjoy, and don’t forget to tell us about your most influential book in the comments.

3 Influential Books from a 70 year old

  • Heretics by G.K. Chesterton, the “Prince of Paradox,” is at his witty best in this collection of twenty essays and articles from the turn of the twentieth century. Focusing on “heretics” — those who pride themselves on their superiority to Christian views — Chesterton appraises prominent figures who fall into that category from the literary and art worlds. Luminaries such as Rudyard Kipling, George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells, and James McNeill Whistler come under the author’s scrutiny, where they meet with equal measures of his characteristic wisdom and good humor.  In addition, these essays contain observations on the wider world. “On Sandals and Simplicity,” “Science and the Savages,” “On Certain Modern Writers and the Institution of the Family,” “On Smart Novelists and the Smart Set,” and “Slum Novelists and the Slums” reflect the main themes of Chesterton’s life’s work. Heretics roused the ire of some critics for censuring contemporary philosophies without providing alternatives; the author responded a few years later with a companion volume, Orthodoxy. Sardonic, jolly, and generous, both books are vintage Chesterton.  He is criticizing those who hold incomplete and inadequate views about “life, the universe, and everything.”  But he manages to demonstrate, among other things, that our new 21st century heresies are really not new because he himself deals with most of them.
  • Language in Thought and Action by S. I. Hayakawa. It discusses the role of language in human life, the many functions of language, and how language—sometimes without our knowing—shapes our thinking in this engaging and highly respected book. Provocative and erudite, it examines the relationship between language and racial and religious prejudice; the nature and dangers of advertising from a linguistic point of view; and, in an additional chapter called “The Empty Eye,” the content, form, and hidden message of television, from situation comedies to news coverage to political advertising.
  • Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think by Dr. Peter Diamandis (Founder and Executive Chairman of the XPRIZE Foundation) and Steven Kotler (bestselling author and science journalist), published on February 21, 2012. It is a thrilling antidote to today’s dark pessimism.

3 Influential Books from a 49 year old

I must admit, I don’t read a lot of books.  In fact, the ones I really remember wanting to read are the Harry Potter series as those were coming out about 10 years ago.  The three books below I read mostly because of the business implications, but ended taking a lot of the thoughts to my personal life.

  • Fish Tales by Stephen Lundin, John Christensen, and Harry Paul – Yes, father, this is one of the books you have sent me over the years, and yes, I do read them for the most part.  This book takes place at Seattle’s Pike Place Market.  It is about a group of people of must transform their dysfunctional work place and they learn lessons from the people at the fish market.  This book taught me that you must have pride in everything you do in life, even the small minuscule tasks can have a great impact on others.
  • Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey – Here’s a great book to teach you how to live life day to day.  How to take aspects of your life and by changing little habits, keeps you on track and moving towards your goals.
  • How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie – I was first introduced to Dale Carnegie while enrolled in the Dale Carnegie Course 15 years ago. The Dale Carnegie Course helped me grow my  speaking skills but more importantly it helped me to focus and stop worrying.
    One of the best things that this book teaches as the title states is how to worrying. How to stop worrying about the different things in your life so you can focus on what needs to be done, today.  Sometimes your thoughts get in the way and make a task seem way to big because of all the different aspects.  “Daytime Boxes” is a technique described in the book that allows you to focus on the task at hand and how it gets you from worrying about “everything” that needs to be done to what needs to be done “today”.There they are, three books that continue to influence my thoughts every day.

    3 Influential Books from a 20 year old

Quite honestly, I love reading books. As a college student, it gets so easy to push the reading aside because I am so busy with everything else. Recently, a friend told me to read when I am on the bus going to and from campus. I also find my time to read at other random times to read. It’s never a lot at once but little by little, a book does get started and finished.  That being said, here are my top three influential books as told by a 20 year old.

  • The Bible -I am pretty involved with my church near campus. As a part of my daily prayer time, I make sure to read my Bible – especially before bed.

These next two books I read while I was in middle and high school. To be honest, I hated having to read in the books we read in school. Looking back now, I really appreciated reading it.

  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee –  This is one of the books that I read in middle school but would love to go back to read it and would definitely appreciate it more now.
  • Great Expectations by Charles Dickens –  This book I totally appreciated in high school, but probably because I had such a great English teacher. There was so much greatness in that book that I would also really enjoy going back through and reading again.

There you are, now it’s your turn, do you agree with these books or is there a book of your own that has influenced.  Let us know.

9 Games That are Not Boring

As a family we often sit down and play games.  Although we like video games, Mariokart being one of our favorites, we also play board games.  We play games where logic, skill, and fun are what it takes to win and claim yourself as the family champion.  Here are nine of our favorites…

3 Games Recommended by a 20 Year Old

I have always been one for the games that are not video games. Maybe it is a little bit of the nerd in me or maybe because I did at one point live a life before video games were a real thing. Either way, video games are not always my forte. Games are a great way to spend time with people and you can always get good laughs out of them too.

That being said, here are my top 3 non-video games:

  1. Telestrations – This is a fairly new game and I never actually played it until I was at college. It is similar to the game telephone. Instead of whispering in the person’s ear the phrase you want, you draw the picture and guess. There are always some good laughs with this one. For example, the other day a drawing of a raccoon turned into a rocket ship and a drawing of a microwave turned into a small water.
  1. Scattegories – This is a classic and it’s a game that always gets played when I’m at my grandpa’s for Christmas as well as other times. It’s the thinking concept that I enjoy – probably.
  1. Clue – Here is another game that makes me think. I enjoy thinking – in case you haven’t caught on by now.

So there you have it. You top three games from a 20 year old engineering student. In all honesty though, it doesn’t matter what game you play but instead the people you play with and the memories you make with them


3 Games Recommended by a 49 Year Old

Game #1 – When I was 7 years old, my uncle introduced me to a game I have played all my life.   Although this two player game is not really a family game, I am now playing it with my 7 year old nephew.  Unfortunately, my uncle and I stopped playing Chess after I won a game about a year after we started playing.   However, if you are looking for a strategy game that makes you think and where no two games are exactly the same, this is a great game to teach your kids.  I ended up playing in a club in grade school and high school.   Our high school team, my senior year, ended being very good and qualified for the team state championship.  Two of us qualified for the individual state championship that year.  Now I play with my nephew who is very good.

Game #2 – My second game is a game where you need at least 3 people and can be played by everyone ages 3 to 93.  Uno is a card game that requires players to get rid of all the cards in your hand before anyone else.  But be careful, there are Skips, Reverses, Draw 2, Draw 4, and Wild cards that allow you to “get” the people sitting immediately beside you.  We played this game one New Year’s Eve for four hours with about ten people.

Game #3 – My final game is another logic game, Clue.  Clue is a who done it board game.  In order to win you have to determine who killed Mr. Boddy, what room it happened in, and what weapon was used.  My kids and I always have fun playing the game.

3 Games Recommended by a 70 Year Old

1.  Rummikub is a tile-based board game combining elements of the card game rummy and mahjong. Players make runs of at least 3 consecutive numbers or groups of at least 3 of the same number. While the object of the game is to get rid of all your tiles, the fun of the game is to manipulate the tiles on the board by rearranging tile sets to get rid of your tiles.
2.   Uno is a card game with a specialty set of cards including numbers, colors, and action items, which come into play often.  It is very easy to learn but hard to win because of all the changes which can spring up from other players and the deck of cards.
3. Sorry! is a board game where players try to travel around the board with their pieces faster than any other player.  The game title comes from the many ways in which a player can negate the progress of another, while issuing an apologetic “Sorry!”

Well there you go.  Now it’s your turn.  What non-video games do you like to play?

2017 Predictions

Today’s Topic – 2017 Predictions

Predictions from a 20 Year Old

My gut reaction was that I have no FREAKING clue. Like what 3 things will happen in 2017 – anything is possible and things I don’t even expect to happen will. Maybe I don’t like this because I don’t want to be wrong but this is for fun so who cares?! Right? Right.

Prediction #1 – I will get an engineering internship.  This girl is hopeful and really wants to expand her knowledge of engineering mind as well as her experience.  I’m not exactly sure where I will be or what it will lead me to, but I’m confident that it will happen.

Prediction #2 – Taylor Swift will announce a new album.  She hasn’t done one in a while since her last one came out. Her fans will start to want more from her especially since people thought it would happen this past year. Even though I won’t purposefully go out of the way to listen to her album, I know I will hear of it when it does happen.

Prediction #3 – Someone will find the Loch Ness Monster.  I know this is probably a long shot, but to all you Nessie supporters out there – I have your back. I believe that Nessie will one day be found!

So there you have it, my three predictions for 2017.

Predictions from a 49 Year Old

My three predictions are around sports, politics, and family health.

First, as I am a Chicago Cubs fan and elated for their 2016 World Series win, this prediction deals with where the Chicago Cubs will finish during the 2017 season.  I predict the Cubs will continue on their great ride and win their division again.  I predict the Cubs will make it to the World Series, play the Boston Red Sox, and win in 5 games.

My second prediction involves the United States President-elect Donald Trump.  President Trump will continue to utilize social media and irritate a whole lot of people.   I believe he will struggle with foreign politics and will help encourage more manufacturing within the United States within the year.

My third prediction is around my family’s health.  We had an awful year with half the family having surgery or ending up in the hospital.  In 2017, I predict we will end up with only one family member in the hospital or having surgery.

Here’s to 2017!

Predictions from a 71 Year Old

1.  deja vu magnified – The US supreme court will uphold the Trump Presidency despite 3 state Supreme Court’s decisions which found Trump not only lost the popular vote but also the state’s electoral votes. The review of voting records divulged significant illegal votes for Trump and significant unrecorded votes for Hillary.

2.  The cubs will repeat.

3.  Our ‘family’ will have a minor celebrity (bad or good).  I’m using ‘family’ in the broadest of terms including in-laws.  For example,  my sister’s granddaughter said I was the only author she knew personally.  Of course,  my son is related business wise to the Ellen show. There’s also the 6 degrees of separation on our side.  But I’m thinking of much more exposure than that.

In Conclusion

There you have it, a couple of predictions for the Chicago Cubs to repeat in 2017, some Donald Trump predictions, a new Taylor Swift album, an engineering internship, some family predictions, and the Loch Ness monster.

Now it’s your turn before you go out and make 2017 great, in the comments below, who will have the most predictions come true?